Temporary visas for butchers: Read the NFU response

Published 15 October 2021

Farm business
Tom Bradshaw 2021 portraits

The government has confirmed on 15 October that 800 temporary visas will be offered to foreign butchers to work in UK abattoirs to help ease problems in the agri-food supply chain caused by labour shortages.

NFU Vice President Tom Bradshaw has responded to the announcement:

He said: “This is very welcome news for the pork sector and provides some long-awaited relief for those farmers with pigs backing up on farm. Given the severity of these issues, it’s critical that this scheme is up and running as soon as possible to ease this backlog.

“Labour shortages across the food supply chain remain acute and continued engagement with government is essential to solve these wider issues. The food supply chain remains united in its view that a temporary 12-month Covid Recovery Visa is needed to enable the entire food and drink sector to recruit for essential roles, alongside an urgent announcement on the extension of the Seasonal Workers pilot scheme.

Buying British will help

Tom Bradshaw continued: “I would also urge retailers to play their part in supporting the sector at this time by sourcing British pork and I would ask the public to make a conscious effort to look out for British pork when they are doing their shopping to back British farming.”

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